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Q: How do I activate my expiring MATLAB license for the next academic year?

Your MATLAB license will expire each year on July 1. You will need to re-activate MATLAB using a new Activation Key (see below).

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Getting Help

Support for MATLAB installation is available from the MathWorks. Visit MathWorks Support for more information. The MathWorks may ask for your License Number (see below).

Before You Start

  • Please note: The new MATLAB key will be saved once you activate it.  Your MATLAB installation will use the old key until it expires, then it will switch to the new key.
  •  Make sure you have made a note of your License Number and Activation Key.
  • You can find both of these through IS&T's MATLAB page.
  •  You should already have a account from the last time you activated or installed MATLAB. You will need your username (should be your MIT e-mail address) and password (not your Kerberos password).


Note: Release R2010a is illustrated; adjust appropriately for a different release.

  1. Launch MATLAB, and run Help > Licensing > Activate Software.

    You may also run the Activation Wizard manually:
    • Linux: /usr/local/matlabr2010a/bin/
      (Location may vary if you did not accept the default settings during installation.)
    • Mac: Open the Applications folder. Right-click on MATLAB_R2010a, and choose Show Package Contents. Double-click on the Activate icon.
    • Windows: Start Menu > Programs > MATLAB R2010a > Activate MATLAB
  2. The activation wizard will start. Click Next.
  3. You will be prompted to log in to your account. Click Next.
  4. You will be prompted to select the license to associate with. Select the Total Academic Headcount Campus license, and click Next.
  5. Enter the activation key, and click Next.
    Don't have the activation key? Scroll back to the top of the page and re-read the "Before You Start" section.
  6. Enter the username of the user who will run MATLAB. You should usually accept the default value, unless you normally log in to this computer with a different username than the one you're currently using. Click Next.
    Note: This is your username on your local workstation. It is not necessarily your MIT Kerberos username. If you need to run MATLAB as a different user, you can re-activate it as that user.
  7. The activation wizard will prompt you to confirm the information you have entered. Click Next.
  8. The activation wizard will finish and offer to start MATLAB. Click Finish. After a few moments, MATLAB should launch automatically. MATLAB will now also be available in the Start Menu and on your Desktop.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

April 28, 2016

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